A psychologist is a mental health professional who helps people gain insight into their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions to overcome mental health challenges and make positive changes in their lives. These professionals help individuals break harmful behavior patterns that keep them from living fulfilling lives. Psychologists usually work with someone on a long-term treatment plan to improve their overall mental health.
If you are struggling with mental health, a psychologist can help. We work with people in Milford, CT and the surrounding area to regain their mental health. Call 475-338-0469 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
What is a Psychologist
A licensed psychologist may spend anywhere from 8 to 12 years in higher education. They earn a bachelor’s in psychology or a related field and then earn their doctorate. After this, they complete another two years of training working with people before taking an exam to become licensed in their state.
Psychologists are qualified to provide psychotherapy, counseling, diagnosis, and treatment for mental disorders. There are a few states where psychologists can prescribe medication with additional training, but they are not medical doctors and, for the most part, do not prescribe medication. However, they may work with a psychiatrist as part of a patient’s care team. Psychologists tend to work with patients long-term, helping them realize the motivations behind their thoughts and behavior patterns. They may also work with patients on specific issues or facilitate group, couples, or family therapy.
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Benefits of Seeing a Psychologist
Seeing a psychologist has two main benefits. First, it gives the patient an unbiased party who offers a fresh perspective on their circumstances. A person is often so wrapped up in the emotion of their troubles they are unable to see them in a clear and logical manner. Second, a psychologist specializes in human behavior and can use that knowledge to help patients develop better coping strategies and mental habits. Other benefits of seeing a psychologist include:
- Access to proven advice on improving mental health
- Fewer feelings of isolation
- Help managing strong emotions
- Improved productivity
- Improved self-estem
- Increased positive mood
- Less anxiety and depression
Research shows that 75% of people who receive psychotherapy show some benefit from it. Work with a psychologist is associated with fewer sick days and increased work satisfaction as well.
Who Should See a Psychologist
Those seeking help with longstanding or complex issues should consider help from a psychologist. Psychologists offer short-term counseling on specific issues but specialize in helping a person improve their mental health in general. Those with depression or anxiety who may not be sure what is causing these feelings could benefit from seeing a psychologist. These professionals also work with those who have personality or mood disorders to handle their troubling symptoms, function better in the world, and gain a greater sense of well-being. Those who feel lost in life can benefit from seeing a psychologist to help identify what is behind their feelings and regain a sense of direction. Anyone seeking overall mental health guidance can benefit from seeing a psychologist.
How Treatment Works
Mental health is often complicated and often requires treatment that involves medication and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the psychologist’s domain. They talk in-depth with patients over a long time about their lives and ongoing issues. Their goal is to get a thorough understanding of a person so they can offer advice on how that person can improve their life.
Psychotherapy works best when the psychologist works with a patient consistently over months or years. Typically, a psychologist will see a patient once a week for 30 to 50 minutes. The beginning of therapy allows the psychologist to get to know the patient’s history and current troubles. During this time, the patient and the psychologist develop a rapport, and the psychologist develops an in-depth view of the patient’s behavior patterns and inner world. A psychologist will ask a lot of questions and do a lot of listening in the beginning.
As treatment progresses, the therapist will point out negative thought and behavior patterns that may be behind the patient’s difficulties. They may give the patient “homework” or exercises to do in between sessions to help them work through unresolved emotions. The therapist and patient will discuss strategies to change what is not working in a patient’s life. The patient will try and implement these strategies and let the therapist know how they are working.
Finding a Psychologist
Because the strength of the relationship between psychologist and patient is so important, patients will want to invest some time in finding the right therapist. This is someone the patient will be sharing personal details with and working with for a long time. The relationship, like most, must be built on trust, and the patient should choose someone with whom they feel comfortable.
A good way to start narrowing down the list is for patients to get a list of psychologists in their area who take their insurance. To narrow down the list further, patients should have a list of qualities in mind that are important to them. For example, patients should decide whether they want a male or female therapist, a therapist of a certain age, or a therapist specializing in a type of therapy or a particular type of mental health issue.
Next, it is time to take advantage of the Internet. Now, patients can take that list and research each name to read about the therapist’s background, education, and even patient reviews and ratings. One can also find out if they offer online appointments as well as in-person appointments. Once the list has been narrowed down to a few names, it is recommended patients interview therapists they are considering.
Call Us Today
Everyone deserves to make their mental health a priority. If you are struggling emotionally, a psychologist can help. Call us now at 475-338-0469 to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What problems do people see psychologists for?
A. Depression, anxiety, and addiction are among the biggest issues that bring people into therapy. Many times people do not entirely understand what is perpetuating these negative feelings, and our team helps them figure that out. A psychologist helps people deal with the emotional strain these issues have on them as well as change negative behaviors and support a positive state of well-being.
Q. How is a psychologist different from a psychiatrist?
A. These professions often get confused because they have similar-sounding names and help with mental health issues. However, psychiatrists are medical doctors and usually treat mental health issues with prescription medication. Psychologists, on the other hand, employ psychotherapy.
Q. What will my first psychotherapy appointment be like?
A. This will vary by person, but in general, you can expect to answer a lot of questions. The first appointment is often known as the intake session. The therapist will want to know about your background and current circumstances, why you are seeking treatment, and what type of treatment you have tried in the past. You do not have to discuss anything you are uncomfortable sharing. What you say is confidential, and you will have the opportunity to ask the therapists questions as well.
Q. How long will I be in therapy?
A. Length of therapy depends on the issues you are addressing as well as your goals. Some feel they only need to go for a few months, while others go to therapy for years. This is something you would need to discuss with the psychologist during your first couple of sessions. The most important thing to remember is the patient has to be willing to commit to working toward improvement, and that can often take time.
Q. Does health insurance cover therapy?
A. With mental health becoming more of a priority, chances are your plan covers a portion of mental health services. We advise patients to check with their insurance provider about the details of their plan. It is also important to check with the therapist you intend to go to and make sure they take your insurance.
Helpful Related Links
- American Psychiatric Association (APA). Mental Health Topics. 2021
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